HC Deb 28 July 1902 vol 111 cc1356-7

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the evidence given by Mr. Vaughan, one of His Majesty's inspectors of factories, at the City fire inquest, to the effect that when he visited the premises after the fire no one was present but the manager of the firm, and that he was not given full information as to the work of the girls employed; and, seeing this inspector admitted that the decision of the Home Office that the place was not a factory had been based on insufficient materials, whether he will ensure that in future such inspections shall be more complete.


I have received a Report from Mr. Vaughan on this matter, and I find that the only defect in the information which he obtained from the manager was that he did not learn that one girl had been employed for about a month before the fire in tying artificial sprays of leaves to electric tubing for use as Coronation decorations. I am advised that this additional information does not affect in any way the decision that the premises were not a workshop under the Factory Act. Mr. Vaughan is an excellent inspector, and most careful in his inquiries; and the information which he obtained in this case was amply sufficient for the purpose in view. The section of the Factory Act with regard to means of escape from fire would only have applied if there had been a workshop employing forty persons.